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A chapter of Kipleyarren
Authored by: April L. Gerard aka findingmywingsinlife
He was exhausted. Weary to the bone. But he knew he had to continue on. The strange happenings, the cold distant feelings that some of the other races harbored towards one and another, the dying land,and now this. It was all connected. All of it. How stupid he had been all these years. Never once… he thought as he trudged on throught the low mountainous region..not once did he think…not even when she showed signs. His feet seemed nearly impossible for him to pick up, but he did not dare to try to fly and his exhaustion was about to overtake him. He had gone too long without substance, fearing that there was no time for it. And he worried that he might never see her again. His thinking was muddled and foggy. He should have pieced it together long before this, he should have known, he thought. He should have done more for her. He saw it all, saw how she had been wisked away without any disturbance to those she was around. He had blinked his eyes in disbelief that such magic existed still. And he had tuned out the other child in his clamor to fit the pieces together in his mind. He had left the village then on swift decisions. He needed to hunt down those who kept guard of secrets. He needed to save her.
And with that last thought, he fell to the ground. In the distance of his mind’s eye, far off to a memory deep within his mind he began to hear the sweet sounds of childish laughter echoing in his ears…
“Over the hills and up the Trees, we fly so high and mightily!...”
Two girls not yet turned 9 years were singing with their long dark wavy hair dancing with the wind while they twirled up around the Garden Tree in the Meshaw Village. The sun shone so brightly that their wings shimmered like sequins, each casting off different colors. They were twins, two devoted sisters that loved to spend each waking moment with each other.
It was forbidden for any Fairie to use their wings in flight, the girls knew this for their parents taught them well, but mischief was a part of their nature and the freedom in the wind was all the enticement they needed. Besides, all the village people of Meshaw and surrounding villages were gathered at the other end of the village awaiting the March of the Elders in the Fairie Woodland March.
It was a celebration of the history of the Fairies, the Elders marched with their silvery robes and each held a staff carved with markings that told a story about the line of Fairies that that Elder represented. This celebration would start at the Northern most village in the woodlands and circle inward, like that of a snail’s shell, passing thru each of the seven original Fairie Villages until the line of marchers ended up in the center, at the eldest village- Meshaw Woodland Village.
This event would bring storytellers, Seers, and gamers for all to enjoy. The good, bad, and the ugly would be told in various stories and legends. The children would gather in anticipation around the Central Garden to await someone to share with them stories of the triumphs, the victories, and of the leaders who led the way and gave continuance to the line of Fairies.
The march would stop precisely at the Garden Tree in the Central Garden and Festivities would then begin. The festival lasted nearly seven days, in honor of each original line. It was the most sacred, yet most enjoyed and anticipated event for all Fairies each year.
The time was approaching and the girls could sense it. The air smelled richly of anticipation and excitement. The girls, however, paid no heed for they were waiting for a special someone to arrive. Someone who cared about them, loved them, and shared his stories with them. He was not expected by anyone, but those two little dark haired beauties knew he was coming. His name was Uncle Vasper.
Not fifty yards away, a man who looked to be in his late 20’s, with dark wavy hair and laughing brown eyes, watched as the girls chased each other around the Garden Tree. He couldn’t help but smile, for it was not the first time he would have to reprimand them for flying in full view of the public. He himself did not feel that the law forbidding Fairies from flight was right, but the Elders had agreed to it with Queen Domta Cree and therefore no one would think to disrespect their decision. It was of course said to be for everyone’s safety and well being.
But how does one explain that to two very precocious little Fairies. How does one say to them that they have to give up something that all Fairies were born to do. “Ah, young ones,” He thought, “they never quite understand the nature of rules and regulations that we grown ups set in place. But then, neither do I and I’m a grown man.” He shook his head and headed towards them.
As he reached the tree, he heard raucous laughter coming from them. He crossed his arms and tried to look as stern as possible and said, “Folie and Shanandra! What in the name of the Litara are you doing?”
“Uh-oh??” Folie, the youngest twin peaked around the Tree and her big green eyes were wide with joy, “Uncle Vasper!! Shanandra! It’s Uncle Vasper! Come on!!” and Folie flew down to him as fast as her wings would allow.
“It’s going to be so wonderful Uncle Vasper! I can feel it! It’s like there is something new on the way. Something so very lovely!” squealed Folie.
“Hold on now, young one. It’s just the annual Woodland March that’s got you so anxious. Come Shanandra, don’t let your sister here talk my ears off, then I couldn’t listen to either of you anymore!” Shanandra did as he asked and he couldn’t help but smile at the big blue eyes that stared up at him.
They walked, holding hands, across the village towards the home of the twins and the girls listened raptly to his stories of his travels around Kipleyarren. Folie of course, had to squeal with excitement and gasp and giggle. Shanandra just smiled and listened, looking up at him adoringly, content to let her twin do all of the talking.
Suddenly, Folie screamed as though in pain and burst into tears, falling to her knees. “Uncle Vasper, it’s hurt. Look at it! Oh why would someone hurt it! What could it have possibly done!” There at Folie’s knees, was a bunny, still alive but just. It looked as though someone’s hand had deliberately and unmercifully broken each limb methodically. It had been tortured and tormented without reserve or hesitation. Folie’s tears streamed down her face as she lifted up head and said softly, “Uncle Vasper please make it better. I can feel it, it hurts so much. Please??”
“I’m sorry, young one, there is nothing I can do. You must let it go and be at peace that you gave it so much compassion at the end of it’s life.”
“No!! I won’t let it die! It wasn’t its time yet!” and she laid herself protectively over the suffering rabbit and sobbed.
“Uncle?” whispered Shanandra as she tugged at his shirt sleeve, “Uncle look,” She said again, pointing towards Folie’s wings and her protrusions that crowned her head and encircled her wrists and ankles. He looked, and in disbelief, saw Folie’s endowments glow and shimmer green. Vasper looked nervously around and gently bent down to wrap his arms around Folie. He lifted her chin to see a see a tear streaked face that was, to his astonishment, smiling again.
“Look, Uncle, he’s all better now!” Folie held the rabbit in her arms and spoke very softly to it.
“ Folie, we must leave now. No one must know what has happened here. I will speak with your parents later tonight after the festivities die down. I know it is hard for you to understand, but please, both of you, promise me you won’t say anything to anyone?” He again looked around cautiously and looked at the girls, who although did not understand, were silently shaking their heads yes. They knew instinctively that Uncle was never wrong about these things.
He woke with a start. Looking around frantically, in confusion, until he realized with sudden ease what had caused him to wake. A slender, cool hand was cupping his face and a voice was pleading with him to wake up. His eyes searched for where the sound was coming from and found a familiar face. Surprise enveloped him and showed in his eyes, but then he lifted his own hand to touch hers and said, “Thank you for finding me.” He took the drink that was offered to him. He was in a somewhat delusionary state, being both deprived of nourishment and weary to the bone, but he did manage to say “I am glad you will be with me on this journey, but it will be dangerous. I had hoped to keep you from it and I see now that there is no help for it.” With that, he drifted off to his dreams once more, this time another memory surfaced..
“Are you sure of it?” said Meg Melorin, the twins’ mother. It was late during the night and the two young ones had been sent to bed while the adults, Meg, Brenvont, and Vasper stood in the quaint kitchen area with only the faint glow of a fairie globe lighting the room (much like the glow of a candle). Meg had sat and listened to Vasper relay his story about the events that had occurred earlier that day with the girls. Her girls. She was stunned and unprepared for this, though she knew it was only a matter of time before the true heritage of the Melorins would surface.
After listening to all that Vasper had to say, Meg quietly stood up. She reached for Brenvont, who was crying, and pulled him close to her like a child. She stood there stoically, holding him and yet giving him a small measure of respect for his compassion. She was the matriarch of the family, their leader and protector as it is with all the women of fairies. Vasper was asking them to realize the danger that had presented itself and her own silent tears began to give way and show her own worry and fear at what could happen.
Brenvont looked over at Vasper and almost whispered, “ It just seems so impossible, our little girl doing such a thing. She’s only 9 years old.”
“Vasper, Brenvont and I have gone to great lengths to keep the girls and our family safe, you know that. Now you’re asking us to move away from the oldest village known to fairies and away from our heritage. Our worst fears are coming to surface and we can’t allow people to find out, not with what’s been happening to the Fairies.”
Vasper was all too aware of what was happening to the Fairies. The Carfens were gone. The Nubiens were extinct, or very near so, discarded by most of the races out of misguided fear. But Vasper understood something others did not, the fear was born from those who would take what was not theirs to take. There was a dangerous, malicious movement happening and it was taking the races unawares. Even the humans have become more wary than usual. There was something in the air everywhere he traveled it seemed. It was one of the primary reasons he chose to voice his concern.
Vasper took a long, steady breath. He knew within his heart he was losing this battle. Meg and Brenvont had moved to Meshaw Village shortly before most Fairies began to realize the couple’s anticipation in being expectant parents. They made the decision then that this would be the best place to protect and raise their child and to their delight they were greeted with twin girls at delivery.
No one else, save for Vasper and Meg’s late parents knew of the true heritage bloodline that flowed in their veins. It would not do for it to be discovered thru a child’s inadvertent use of an old magic found only in that bloodline. For to be discovered, could mean certain death at the hands of those who covet power. The problem was in the not knowing who was seeking the Powers out.
He looked at both Meg and Brenvont. He had been looking forward to a mere short visit with the girls. Though he loved his sister and would do as she asked, He did not care to be held in the confines a Matriarchal environment. He longed for the day when men would be seen as equal counterparts to the women of Fairies. This is why he had asked his sister long ago to recommend to the council that he be appointed as a Messenger. It was the only duty available to a man that gave him his own freedom to come and go as he pleases. So long as the Messengers bartered the trading with the outside races and brought news of the events going on in the outside world to the council and queen their independence was tolerated.
Vasper sighed, this battle was lost with his sister and it would not be wise to force the issue. “I see you’ve made up your mind then? I only spoke of moving in the interest of the girls’ well being, to keep them safe.”
“Vasper, I know you care about us and you are right, we do need to be careful with the girls, especially now that we know what Folie can do. For now we will not disrupt their lives and move them somewhere else. We will stay here in Meshaw, if we felt safe anywhere, it should be here among our roots.” Meg stated.
Vasper could feel Meg’s long stare as his head hung low. He wondered if she realized that one day she would have to tell the council about them. He knew that his sister was already trying to decide for herself the best way to keep her girls safe. For now, she would not tell them of the heritage resting in their veins. The family secrets would remain with her. Although, she sometimes seemed to forget that he and Brenvont knew the family lore as well as her. Their station in life just made it easy for her to dismiss them and to feel as though her dominance would keep them from disclosing to the twins their true nature. In the future though, he if she would be able to keep him from doing so…